Desire, Duty and Moral Absolutes

Philosophy 55 (212):223 - 238 (1980)

R. A. Duff
University of Stirling
Philosophers have often claimed that the requirements of morality have an absolute and categorical status. Other values may be relative to the agent's ends, other imperatives hypothetical on his desires: their requirements must be justified by relating the action enjoined to the attainment of those ends or desires, and can be avoided by being shown to be incompatible with them. But the requirements of morality bind us whatever our ends or desires might be: they are not to be justified by reference to anything beyond themselves; they cannot be avoided by being shown to be incompatatible with our existing purposes. Other values and imperatives may be determined—be given their status as values or imperatives—by our own prior purposes and desires: but those of morality themselves determine which purposes or desires we may or may not pursue. For convenient reference I label this the Absolutist view
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819100049020
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Some Scepticism About Moral Realism.Jeffrey Goldsworthy - 1995 - Law and Philosophy 14 (3/4):357 - 374.

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